Depending on the number of cosmic rays they had absorbed, most of the grains must have been 4.6 to 4.9 billion years old, and some grains were more than 5.5 billion years old.
"I am sure there are older pre-describe voltaic minerals in Murchison and thoroughly different meteorites, we factual have not came upon them but".
Stars are formed when dust, gas and heat combine in just the right way. This in turn helps new stars to be born, creating a space daisy chain. Then they dissolved it in acid, which left only the pre-solar particles. Impossibly small size they are hard to understand.
The materials examined in the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences are called pre-solar mineral grains formed before the birth of the Sun.
That's because plate tectonics, volcanism and other planetary processes heated and transformed all the presolar dust that may have collected during Earth's formation, said lead study author Philipp Heck, the Robert A. Pritzker Associate Curator of Meteoritics and Polar Studies at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.
"These are solid samples of stars, real star dust", said Professor Heck. They are extremely rare and found only in about five percent of meteorites that have fallen to Earth. "It smells like rotten peanut butter".
The conclusion was that based on how the cosmic rays interacted with the grains, majority had to be about 4.9 billion years old.
The rays are high-energy particles that travel through the galaxy and penetrate solid matter. Thus, the longer a sample is exposed, the more secondary elements are formed.
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"I review this with striking out a bucket in a rainstorm". They also learned that seven billion years ago more stars started to form.
The star dust represented time capsules in front of the solar system.
And, Heck said, the discovery of a furious starburst in microscopic grains wrapped up in a meteorite confirms that star formation ebbs and flows. Some believe it is stable and unchanging, while d "Others believe there are peaks and troughs".
"Some people think that the star formation rate of the galaxy is constant", says Heck.
The new dating of this team confirms an astronomical theory that predicted a baby boom of stars before the formation of our sun, instead of a constant rhythm of star formation.
For Dr Heck, this latest research is one of the most exciting studies he's worked on, but he's sure it won't be the last.
The researchers discovered some of the presolar grains in their sample were the oldest ever discovered based on how many cosmic rays they had soaked up.
However, other dating techniques, such as comparing the isotope ratios left behind by decaying radioactive materials, can not yet be used to provide an absolute date for these ancient dust grains. "Stardust is the oldest material to reach Earth, and from it, we can learn about our parent stars, the origins of the carbon in our bodies, the origin of the oxygen we breathe". "The wonderful thing is we have a rock in our collection that we just take out of the cabinet and learn something about the history of our galaxy".
"We already knew that they were older than the solar system, hence older than 4.6 billion years", Heck told Newsweek.